Philosopher of Art

L. Ron Hubbard
eft to my restless lonesome in the midnight calm of my cabin I have been perusing a
controversy over the definitions of Art." LRH

      The year was 1943, that cabin a birthplace of many an L. Ron Hubbard classic story and the controversy centered in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Yet with all due respect to those "deeply laden volumes," he concluded, the essential question remained unanswered: What is art?

      The question is, of course, a perennial one, and frequently posed through early LRH correspondence. Then too, of course, his undergraduate experimentation at George Washington University had specifically addressed how the human mind responds to beauty... which, in turn, had firmly set him upon that long and tortuous road to the founding of Scientology. Yet for a first formal treatment of art in a purely philosophic sense, one must turn to his writings from 1951, or the cusp of Scientology.

      Some years earlier, he spoke of scanning a scale only to discover the emotional heights of creativity were far "taller than I suspected." He had further spoken of a creative energy apparently paralleling the divine. But only with a recognition of the human being as intrinsically spiritual, could he confidently focus upon that "nebulous field of art and creation," and the actual makeup of beauty itself--or what he then described as the "aesthetic wave." By way of example, he explained that aesthetics could be seen to follow the same laws as all emanating waves--be they radio, sound or light. But whereas such waves were relatively gross and thus mechanically measurable, the aesthetic wave was almost immeasurably fine.

      Thereafter--and one finds numerous references scattered through research from 1952--this matter of aesthetics came even more to the forefront. For when we speak of aesthetics, he explained, "we mean solely, and only, beautiful." And when we speak in terms of beauty, he added, we are speaking in terms of "thought, life force, élan vital, the spirit, the soul, or any other of the numerous definitions it has had for some thousands of years." It was not for nothing, then, he concluded with some emphasis, that one sought to rehabilitate an individual's artistic ability, "because that is the best there is in him."

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